There isn’t much that gets me out of bed these days. Three cups of coffee shot directly into the vein? Meh. HR’s threats of “immediate action” should I be late for the 10th time this month? Don’t tempt me with a good time, Karen. What does get me going, you may ask? A scandalous news story about a wholesome midwestern family finding out their adopted Ukrainian daughter is actually a woman in her 20s posing as a 6-year-old child with dwarfism. Now THAT I’ll get out of bed for. So buckle up, kids, it’s time to gather ‘round for a story more convoluted and insane than a Riverdale plotline (and as the former weekly recapper, just know that I had to sit through the showrunners try and explain how the local Riverdale cult was just a front for an underground blackmarket human body parts trade).
The story was originally published in The Daily Mail UK earlier this week and it is… a lot to take in. The article claims that famed parenting author and motivational speaker Kristine Barnett and her now ex-husband Michael Barnett have been charged with neglect after leaving their 11-year-old daughter Natalia to fend for herself in their apartment when they moved to Canada. Sounds terrible. Like, let’s get ADA Barba and the Special Victims Unit on this ASAP. However, the Barnetts are claiming that it’s not neglect because Natalia is not a child, but in fact a “mentally disturbed adult posing as a child” who has threatened to kill them before.
In order to truly appreciate the masterpiece that was this Daily Mail article, we need to go back to the beginning. First, a little backstory on the Barnetts: Kristine rose to moderate fame in the mid 2000s when she wrote a book about raising her genius physics prodigy son, Jacob, who has Autism. The couple even appeared on 60 Minutes back in 2012 to talk about Jacob’s success story. So, like, it’s a little ironic that Kristine, a woman who has probably been humble bragging about her parenting skills to her book club for longer than The Office was on the air, is now being charged with parental neglect. I bet her friends are having a hell of a time in their group chat.
In 2010, the couple adopts Natalia, who, as far as they know, is a 6-year-old girl living with a form of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia. Natalia had been living in the U.S. for two years, had a Ukraine birth certificate saying she was born in September of 2003, and needed a home ASAP because her previous adoptive parents “suddenly gave her up for undisclosed reasons.” This is the same excuse I give whenever someone asks if I’m still on my diet, but somehow it doesn’t feel legit enough for adoptive parents to use as an excuse to return A LITERAL CHILD, but okay.
Soon after the adoption, Kristine says she realized Natalia could not actually be the age she was claimed to be. First off, she claims Natalia was speaking with a sophisticated vocabulary beyond that of a typical 6-year-old’s. As I don’t associate with children I’m not quite sure what that means, but I’m going to assume that little Natalia was only speaking to the Barnetts via Mean Girls quotes and Cardi B rap lyrics.
Moving on. The couple claims there were also physical signs that Natalia was older. She supposedly had adult teeth, didn’t grow one inch in the years they had her in their care, had a period (!!!), and they discovered a full bush on her the first time they gave her a bath. According to The Daily Mail, Natalia also “shunned dolls and toys and sought the company of teenage girls.” (I stand by my earlier Cardi B comment).
During this same time Kristine claims Natalia was terrorizing the family by threatening to stab them in their sleep. (And that’s not even a part I am exaggerating for effect!) At one point, Kristine claims she even tried to pour bleach in their coffee because she wanted to “poison them” and shoved Kristine into an electric fence. To be fair, if my adoptive mother was making this big a deal about my period I would also react this way.
In an interview Kristine said of Natalia: “She was jumping out of moving cars. She was smearing blood on mirrors. She was doing things you could never imagine a little child doing.” These allegations, if true, are alarming. If not true, then just stolen from The CW writer’s room notes on the Gargoyle King character attributes.
The Barnetts checked Natalia into a psychiatric hospital where Natalia was diagnosed with various psychiatric disorders. Health professionals at the facility even say Natalia herself admitted to being 18 years old.
Kristine had the family doctor run bone density tests on Natalia to see if she was actually a small child or a much older sociopath posing as a child. I’m hoping that is exactly how she phrased it when she approached her family doctor. Boy, to be a fly on the wall during that doctor’s visit. According to the Barnetts, the doctor concluded that Natalia was actually closer to 14 years old, if not older. This feels suspicious to me because presumably these tests took place sometime after 2010 so modern science and technologies were available for said test, and yet, the most accurate data they could ascertain was that she’s “probably 14.” K.
In 2012, after it’s confirmed that Natalia is not six years old but, like, maybe might be 14 or something, the police start investing Natalia for immigration fraud. The Barnetts, meanwhile, successfully applied to the Indiana courts to have Natalia’s age corrected so she could receive the appropriate psychiatric treatment for an adult, and a judge actually revised Natalia’s date of birth to September 4, 1989, effectively changing her age from EIGHT TO TWENTY-TWO. Okay, but like, where did they get that number from?? The doctor confirmed she was maybe 14 and if my basic math calculations are correct that number is nowhere near 22. A birthday is not like the weight you list on the doctor’s forms. You can’t just make it up!
Kristine says she and her family then set Natalia up in her own apartment, which they paid for, and helped her get benefits and a social security card. The family moved to Canada in 2013 so Jacob could attend a school in Canada, and they say Natalia stopped returning their messages and they lost contact. When Kristine found a pink dress and a little pink bicycle at Natalia’s house, she feared she was conning another family.
Which brings us to today. According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by NBC News, the Indiana police started getting involved in the case around September 2014 when Natalia told authorities the Barnetts rented her apartment in Lafayette. When the police interviewed Michael Barnett about the case earlier this month, he said that Natalia was actually a minor when they legally changed her age to 22 and that Kristine coerced her into telling people that she just looked young for her age. Michael is now saying those comments were taken out of context. Keep in mind the timing of all of this: If the police actually received Natalia’s complaint in 2014 then that means they waited five years to investigate her claims. This feels extremely suspicious to me. What’s with the hold up here? Why has it taken half a decade to investigate a minor’s claim that she was abandoned while her family moved to Canada?
BUT Y’ALL. It gets even weirder because an expert at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital named Dr. Riggs came forward as the man who carried out the bone density tests on Natalia in June 2010 and concluded THAT SHE WAS EIGHT YEARS OLD. You guys, I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!
WHAT. IS. THE. TRUTH. INDEED. A further skeletal test carried out two years later, at the same facility, concluded she was around 11 years old, and I still don’t understand how not one medical test in the year 2011 cannot definitively tell us a girl’s age.
The Barnetts have since been arrested and charged with neglect. They’re still holding true to their story, but I don’t know what to believe anymore. For one, some of their arguments regarding Natalia’s age are flimsy at best. Though Natalia may have been physically mature for a 6-year-old, that doesn’t mean she actually wasn’t her age. I went through puberty in second grade and had a full rack and acne by 8, so WHAT’S YOUR POINT, KRISTINE. The Barnetts also claimed that when they asked Natalia about her time in the Ukraine she gave the same answer Mariah Carey gave about knowing J.Lo, and couldn’t recall any specific details about her homeland. She also could not speak the language.
Again, if Natalia is the age she says she is, that means she was four when she left the Ukraine so, like, how great would her memory really be? I think it’s a little much to be quizzing her on Ukraine’s country flag or history. Then there’s the police work. If Olivia Benson thought an underage girl had been abandoned by her family she would have the entire Manhattan police force fly out to Indiana to investigate this case, and you’re telling me it took local PD five years to look into these very alarming claims? And that all they currently have to show for it is a medical test which somehow can’t be verified? Look, I know Dick Wolf is not actually a member of law enforcement, but these are some pretty wild claims that nobody in law enforcement took seriously at the time.
Which brings me to my last concern: it doesn’t sit well with me that no one can confirm Natalia’s age. These medical “tests” feel about as legit as those pregnancy tests I bought at the Dollar Tree. I know she has a unique case of dwarfism but my god there has to be a way to medically tell her age that isn’t cutting her open and counting the rings like she’s a goddamn tree. I mean is she 11? 14? 18? 22? 33? JUST TELL US HOW OLD YOU ARE, NATALIA.
At the moment, all we know for certain is that Natalia is currently in the wind and her location is unknown. The Barnetts have been released on bail and continue to claim that they accidentally adopted a dangerous, mentally ill tiny adult for a daughter. And while the only immediate answers we’re going to get from this case will play out in the form of a “ripped from the headlines” episode of SVU, I will continue to follow this case v v closely. And by “closely” I mean between the hours of 1am-4pm when I can’t sleep because I still don’t understand how this con artist/Ukrainian child (??) managed to bamboozle both the American medical society and justice system. Stay tuned, Betches!
Images: Amazon; Giphy (3)
Girls, the time for Netflix and chill hibernation is slowly creeping to an end, so we might as well see what’s coming to Netflix in March. Sure, mid-July is prime time for escaping the heat and catching up on shows, and obviously winter sucks donkey dick. But spring? Spring is a time for rooftop day drinking, playing hooky from work (to day drink), and for white people to get some sun on our pasty asses (so we look good day drinking). Come April, there should be nary a soul holed up inside bingeing Chef’s Table or whatever the fuck.
That’s why March is really your last chance to get in some by-God, depressingly antisocial TV time. That probably also why all the new shit coming to Netflix in March 2018 is utter dreck—hell, by the end of the month, half of it’s fucking anime shows. Give them this, they know their audience, because those are the only people I can picture opting to watch TV when there’s baseball and sundresses and kegs to be found outside. That said, there are a few gems coming this month that you might want to catch before you succumb to the siren call of spring.
‘I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry’
They could have shortened the title of this movie to No Homo, and it still would have been accurate. Basically, Adam Sandler and the Scientology lady’s TV husband have to pretend to be gay so they can get gay married or whatever? I’m not sure, but I bet it’s a laugh riot. If nothing else, watch it to see just how much social progress America has made in such a short time. For me, I think it’s great background noise to have on when I’m converting my AR-15 to fire in full-auto mode.
All Three ‘Cruel Intentions’ Movies
I remember remember seeing Cruel Intentions and deciding that acting like Ryan Phillippe’s character was the key to success with women. I was also an idiot and lacked Ryan Phillippe’s looks, charm, money, and being-a-fictional-character-ness, which is probably why I was a virgin way longer than I could have been. This movie is mostly famous for the kiss scene between Buffy and Selma Blair, which in the pre-internet porn times was the stuff that teenage boys’ wet dreams were made of. God, I could watch Sarah Michelle Gellar make out with a shoe. Which isn’t much different than watching her make out with Selma Blair, if you think about it. Oh, and I’ve never seen the other two. No one has, not even the actors who made them. They’re all coming to Netflix in March because they were very cheap to acquire, you see.
‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’: The Eighteenth Year
You know what? With all due respect, fuck this show. I know the first, oh, 10-12 seasons or so were great, and it’s helped millions of us survive countless hungover weekends, but it’s needed to end for a while now. They never figured out a non-annoying romantic side plot for Benson. All the good people are gone except for Ice-T. Benson isn’t even a detective anymore, and instead runs around screaming, “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE A VICTIM” when someone’s just like, “yeah cool lady, I was just trying to get something from the vending machine.” The plots are all over the place now, and having the audacity to say “The Eighteenth YEAR” instead of “season” is the icing on the cake. What, does L&O: SVU secretly go to UVA?
Both ‘Ghostbusters’ Movies
If your only exposure to the Ghostbusters franchise was the wailing and gnashing of neckbearded teeth over the all-women remake a couple years ago, my apologies. The original is a comedy classic (who doesn’t like Bill Murray?), and the effects hold up well enough to not distract viewers in 2018. The second one isn’t nearly as good as the first, but it’s still better than the silly remake because YEAH OK IT’S BECAUSE THEY’RE FEMALES GASJSHDHLDSHJLBFLRUUDA .
‘Jessica Jones’: Season 2
Speaking of girl stuff, season 2 of Marvel’s acclaimed Jessica Jones is finally here. She’s a superhero who’s also a woman. That’s all you needed to know and you’re hooked now, right? Fine, ok: Krysten Ritter plays the titular character, a sassy, alcoholic private detective who also happens to have super powers she’s reluctant to use. Actually, come to think about it, Jessica Jones might be the betchiest character on TV—replace “private detective” with “Instagram stalker,” and “super powers” with “her own credit card instead of her dad’s,” and you’ve just described like 80% of Betches’ audience. Anyway, the show is very good and you should watch it.
’50 First Dates’
I’ve heard this movie described as the story of an unlikeable idiot taking advantage of someone with severe cognitive impairments. That’s true I guess, but at the same time it’s also the story of Adam Sandler repeatedly taking Drew Barrymore on dates because she has amnesia.
‘Wet Hot American Summer’
This cult classic is so good that it inspired not one, but TWO incredibly unfunny TV series: First was Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, which took most of the cast of the movie and asked them to play the same characters 14 years later, except everything in this happens before the events of the movie. Then came last year’s Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later, which I haven’t seen yet but at least sounds like a stronger premise. You probably don’t need to watch either of those, because the movie is fine on its own. You get to see a lot of today’s mega-stars (Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, Amy Poehler) before they hit it big, and that’s half the fun. 10 years from now, we’ll post an article called “Coming To Netflix In March: Wet Hot American Summer—All The Actors Are Dead.”
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (7)
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
I’ve been around the block on this website a few times, and I’ve noticed that if there are two things you bitches love, it’s horoscopes and Law & Order: SVU. I count myself firmly in this camp, BTW. I’m not going to act like I’m above either of those things. So I thought to myself, “Why not combine the two things betches hold most dear, into one completely
nonsensical accurate horoscope?” And that’s exactly what I did. Through some very careful plotting of the movement of the stars and calling upon my own photographic memory of every episode of Law & Order: SVU, I bring you: What SVU detective are you based on your horoscope? If you’ve ever tried to convince your friends that you’re such an Olivia, I’m going to need you to take every single seat. Everyone thinks they’re an Olivia, okay? In reality, only one sign can be Benson. And Benson isn’t even the best SVU detective (now sergeant). So which of these dedicated detectives who make up this elite squad are you? Read ’em and weep.
Aries – Amanda Rollins
Yeah, I bet you all thought I’d start this list off with Benson because Aries are natural born leaders, didn’t you? Surprise, bitch. Y’all get Rollins. Rollins came into the SVU squad hot by catching that identical twin serial rapist who followed his innocent twin brother across state lines to commit assault after assault, so we all thought she was a good one. Just like you, Aries, Rollins has some promising qualities. But you know what Aries’ worst quality is? They’re impulsive, impatient, and moody. Rollins has a fucking gambling addiction (impulsive), won’t be put on desk duty even though she’s pregnant (impatient), and won’t stop enabling her piece of shit sister who TRIED TO SEND HER TO PRISON (too fucking sentimental aka moody)—so yeah, I think that all describes Rollins impeccably. Sorry not sorry, you secretly suck.
Taurus – Mike Dodds
Taurus (Taurans? Tauri?) are reliable and responsible, but they can also be stubborn and uncompromising. Likewise, Dodds was a professional through and through, unlike the rest of these bozos that make up this so-called “elite squad”. Dodds did his work. He even helmed the SVU for a while. But he also refused to leave SVU for a cushy job at the joint terrorism task force that his dad had set up for him. It was a stubborn move that ultimately led to his death—and if there’s one thing Taurus is known for, it’s bullheadedness. Not even a pun, just actual factual. Taurus, your ability to stick to your guns is admirable, just make sure it doesn’t get you shot in the line of duty. (Ok, that pun was unintentional at first, but then I decided to just go with it.)
Gemini – Ed Tucker
That’s fucking right, Gemini, you’re not even a real SVU detective because your ass can’t be trusted. Geminis are literally known for being two-faced, and there’s nobody the SVU distrusts more than Tucker over at IAB. He supposedly works for the NYPD, and yet that guy seems to have a personal vendetta against the Special Victims Unit. Why? (*Thinks back to every illegal maneuver Stabler, Amaro, etc. have ever gotten away with* Oh. Ok.) One minute, you’re convinced he’s shutting down the SVU for good, the next, he’s like, “Gotcha!! You all THOUGHT I would make you face the consequences for your actions… psych!” I just cannot figure this guy out, just like I cannot figure out what my dad will get angry about and what he’ll be cool with, and my dad is also a Gemini. Coincidence? IDK, I’ll bring it up in my next therapy session. That said, it’s not completely fair to paint Geminis as unpredictable freaks—you can be very thoughtful and affectionate, which is I assume how Tucker managed to win over Benson. And, I’ll admit, Ed wasn’t a bad guy and was probably the most stable and caring male figure in Benson’s life thus far. Retirement suited him well. Not saying the same goes for you, Gemini, but you might want to take that 401K seriously just in case. (Not horoscope-related advice, just general life advice.)
Cancer – Dani Beck
Cancers are the pussies of the zodiac in the sense that they are highly emotional. Hey, don’t cry at me; I’m just the messenger. This bleeding heart Dani tries to take in a child because she feels bad for her, only she doesn’t bother to do it the proper way, like, through the authorities or New York State foster care system (whatever that is). She’s just all, “Oh you’re so cute and emotionally disturbed, come sleep on my couch.” That plan went up in flames—literally. Hope she had renter’s insurance. Later on, once again too emotional to make a decision on whether to stay in the SVU or leave, Dani tries to put the decision onto Elliot, who’s like “nah fam, I’m not doing this.” Cancer, it’s great that you care about people, but try thinking with your brain sometime. It might get you into less trouble and life-threatening situations. There is a limit to empathy. You know what they say: Don’t set yourself on fire to keep other people warm. Okay, enough fire metaphors.
^Honestly, Munch, a valid question.
Leo – Nick Amaro
Everyone thinks Aries are the leader of the zodiac, but anyone who actually bothers to read horoscopes other than their own knows Leos are always shadily killing it. Y’all are warm, action-oriented, and driven by the desire to be loved. That last bit reminded me a lot of Michael Scott, but we can save The Office horoscopes for another day. Anyway, you Leos are Amaro, you lucky bitches. You’re a sun sign so you’re hot (I know it’s a huge stretch but please, let me have my thirst), but you’re also loyal and trustworthy. Tbh, Nick was loyal to Olivia almost to a fault (kind of like another certain partner of hers…what perfume does she wear?). However, Leos are also stubborn af and inflexible, kinda like how Nick refused to see that his marriage was crumbling right before his very eyes. Andddd kinda like how Nick was told not to hunt down pedophile David Rosen on his own accord like some state-funded vigilante, but he beat him to a bloody pulp anyway and almost lost his job and actually compromised his entire career for it. Fam. I was rooting for you, we were all rooting for you!
Virgo – John Munch
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and it also makes up one of Virgo’s major flaws, according to the random horoscope website off of which I based most of this list. As a Virgo, you’re hardworking, practical, and loyal, but you can also be a worrywart who’s overly critical. Sound familiar? It should, because while Munch is the ultimate ride-or-die for the SVU squad, the dude is also kind of a nutcase. Like, he probably doesn’t have a smartphone because he thinks the government has bugged it (and he’s probably not wrong tbh given that every WiFi device was just hacked and nobody in the media is reporting about this). Munch is always ranting and raving about Big Brother, and he probably should chill a bit, seeing as he literally works for the government. But Munch, and Virgos, will probably be right, only they won’t say “I told you so” because they hate attention. Although a bit of a wallflower, Virgos are extremely perceptive. Similarly, if you listen closely to anything Munch says, you will notice that he is always getting to the heart of people’s issues with this one-liner jabs, and no one ever gives him the proper acknowledgment for his biting sarcasm and critiques. Ah, well. That’s life, as a sarcastic Jiminy Cricket, I suppose.
^That’s the pot calling the kettle paranoid, eh, John?
Libra – Odafin Tutuola
Balanced and fair and not one to rock the boat, Libras are Ice-T to a T. Am I biased because I’m a Libra and Ice-T is my favorite SVU detective? Probably, but what are you gonna do? Arrest me? Look, Ice-T… fine, FIN, is the cool, calm, and collected detective who doesn’t get rattled, even when people call him racist slurs in the interrogation room. He’s also prone to playing “good cop” and pretending to empathize with the perps so he can get a good confession. (Seriously, watch like, any episode and I bet you’ll hear Fin say something like, “I get it. You spent all that money on dinner and she wouldn’t give it up? Who does that bitch think she is?”). Libras are all about keeping the peace and care about others, which can sometimes blow up in their faces, like when you try to not get involved with Rollins’ obvious gambling addiction but then it starts affecting her work and you end up loaning her thousands of dollars to go undercover in an underground casino. C’mon, Fin. You don’t give money to an addict. That’s like, rule number one of enabling. You’re never gonna get that bread back. Be kind, be fair, but don’t be a fucking patsy.
Scorpio – Elliot Stabler
The word “Scorpio” is basically synonymous with “psycho,” so here we fucking are, Scorpio/Stabler. Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be, because you know you’re one clever perp or issue with your kids away from taking a dive off the deep end. (You really should get those children in therapy. And also, stop calling your son “Dicky”. I bet that’s the root of like, 75% of his issues.) Sure, Scorpios are assertive and natural born leaders—that’s what got you here and why you succeeded for so many seasons. But, to put it bluntly, you’re also a fucking sadists who enjoy watching people suffer. Which would explain the multiple department-ordered anger management classes and the string of pedophiles who’ve almost walked away scot-free because you couldn’t control your fists in the interrogation room, ELLIOT.
Sagittarius – Dominick Carisi Jr.
Yeah, I didn’t know there was a Dominick Carisi Sr., either, until I looked it up just now. Mind blown. Curious and energetic, Sagittarius keep an open mind, much like how Carisi went from being a low-key misogynist (it wasn’t really malicious; he was just ignorant) to #WokeBae in the span of only a few seasons. We also have to respect Carisi’s thirst for knowledge, as he’s the only one on this squad who’s ever made significant moves to better himself by going to law school—and no, attending department mandated therapy sessions does not count as “bettering” oneself (you know who you are). Despite meaning well, Sagittarius can sometimes put their foot in their mouth and say whatever comes to mind, no matter how undiplomatic their ideas may be. And I’d say that describes, oh, 90% of Carisi’s opinions in his first season. It’s okay, Carisi. You’re learning. Sagittarius are travel lovers, but I swear to God if Carisi leaves the show and they keep Olivia, there will be hell to pay. Do you hear me, Dick?! HELL!
Capricorn – Olivia Benson
Capricorns are responsible and disciplined, and while I personally am not living for Olivia’s character arc as of late, I’ve gotta say the woman is responsible when it comes to like, her kid and also like, not completely waving her middle finger in the face of the law and NYPD procedure (*cough* Amaro *cough* STABLER *COUGHS UP A LUNG*). Sorry. Anyway, Capricorns are good managers, and Olivia is doing a pretty decent job managing this squad of goons. (Mostly directed at Rollins.) Independent in their personal and professional lives, a Capricorn’s personal motto is “Can’t Tell Me Nothin’”. And if that’s not Olivia, IDK what is. You really can’t tell this woman nothin’. You can’t tell her not to date every man in her immediate professional circle; you can’t tell her to fucking TELL SOMEONE if she’s going to go off and secretly meet known rapist and sadistic kidnapper, William Louis, in an abandoned building; you can’t tell her that no, a woman who gets tricked into bed by a man who lied about his name and job title was not raped. Seriously, that’s not how it works, Olivia. That’s not how any of this works.
Aquarius – Monique Jeffries
Aquarians are usually shy and quiet, but they can have a bit of a crazy and unpredictable side. Who else better fits that bill than Jeffries, the woman who never did anything interesting until boom, one explosion and she’s gone off the deep end, going on dates with former rape suspects. Just think about that. Sorry your horoscope is kind of lame, but like, there’s not a whole lot to say about you or this woman. Become more interesting and then report back to me with your results.
Pisces – Brian Cassidy
Pisces, y’all are some paranoid and hysterical motherfuckers. You get way too sentimental and it can hinder your life progress—kinda like how Cassidy gets made fun of in season one because he can’t control his emotions about the cases. And like, I get it, I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to be cavalier in the face of sex crimes, but that’s why I didn’t sign myself up to work in the sex crimes division of the NYPD. Know yourself. Work on that, and then maybe you can have another brief stint in SVU a full decade later. One of Pisces’ major weaknesses is their desire to escape reality, which can get them into trouble—for instance, when they sign up for a multi-year undercover operation, get into a relationship with a prostitute, get shot and almost die when their undercover status is exposed, and later on get accused of rape by a prostitute they met undercover years prior which causes them to get demoted. You know, just a totally random example. Find a healthy and less literal way to escape reality, Pisces/Cassidy.